Despite slashing oil imports, Canada’s trade deficit with the world widened to Can$1.9 billion (US$1.5 billion) in February, according to the government statistics agency.
The figure is up from Can$628 million (US$476 million) the previous month, and about one billion dollars more than the street expected.
Exports fell 5.4 percent from a record high in January to Can$43.7 billion (US$33.2 billion) in February, while imports decreased 2.6 percent to Can$45.6 billion (US$34.6 billion), said Statistics Canada. The decrease in exports was led by consumer goods, energy and cars, and partially offset by increased aircraft sales abroad.
Specifically, exports of precious metals, pharmaceutical and medicinal products and lentils fell in the month.
Imports of energy products, meanwhile, were down to their lowest value since September 2003. The main contributor to the decline was crude oil and crude bitumen, which fell 45.7 percent to Can$550 million (US$417 million). This decline coincided with refineries in eastern Canada increasingly sourcing crude oil domestically. As well, imports of refined petroleum energy products decreased 18.7 percent to Can$549 million (US$416 million).